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Published August 28, 2013, 10:30 AM

Philippine Ambassador touring North Dakota

FARGO, N.D. - The Philippine Ambassador to the U.S., Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., along with the country's commercial and agricultural attachés, are in North Dakota this week to meet with community leaders and discuss emerging business and trade opportunities between the Philippines and North Dakota.

FARGO, N.D. - The Philippine Ambassador to the U.S., Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., along with the country's commercial and agricultural attachés, are in North Dakota this week to meet with community leaders and discuss emerging business and trade opportunities between the Philippines and North Dakota.

"We are so pleased to be in North Dakota to explore the interesting opportunities in expanding trade and investment between your state and the Philippines," said Ambassador Cuisia. "The welcome we have received has been heartwarming. We see similarities between Filipinos and North Dakotans, in that we both place great importance on people-to-people interaction and relationships."

The delegation began their tour in Fargo and will present at a public event hosted by the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) on Wednesday afternoon, where they will discuss trade opportunities for value-added foods, energy technology, aviation equipment, agricultural machinery and education.

While in Fargo, Ambassador Cuisia will also hold one-on-one export opportunity assessments with North Dakota companies, in addition to meeting with Northern Crops Institute, North Dakota State University and the Filipino-American Association of North Dakota.

On Thursday, the Ambassador and his colleagues, Agricultural Attaché Dr. Josyline C. Javelosa and Commercial Attaché Maria Roseni M. Alvero, will travel to Bismarck to meet with Governor Jack Dalrymple, Agricultural Commissioner Doug Goehring and the North Dakota Department of Commerce.

"It's truly an honor to host Ambassador Cuisia and his team in North Dakota," said Dean Gorder, executive director of the North Dakota Trade Office. "We continue to seek opportunities for North Dakota companies in the Philippines. This visit has confirmed the many opportunities for exports into the market, including value-added agriculture products, water resources, education, energy and a variety of other industries. We're excited to bring companies to the country in 2014."

With an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 6.9 percent in 2013, the Philippines is now Asean's undisputed economic leader, according to Standard & Poor's (S&P). With healthy economic growth expected over the next 10 years and an increasing middle class, the emerging market holds enormous potential for North Dakota exporters.

Ambassador Cuisia's visit is a stepping-stone in the development of a North Dakota trade mission to the Philippines, scheduled for February 2014.

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